Friday, September 27, 2013

Five on Friday -- 89 Days until Christmas

Did the title of this post freak you out just a little?  Well, it made my pulse accelerate.  Y'all...there are less than 3 months until Christmas!  But I'm not sweating it as much this year.  I have help.  No, I didn't hire a nanny or a personal assistant.  But I did subscribe to an amazing website that I'm sharing with all of you today.  Are you ready?

Available as an eBook, 100 Days To Christmas is so much more than just tinsel and "Deck The Halls".  This is not a sponsored post, just me telling you I have fallen in love.  Between now and Christmas, we also have Fall, Halloween, Election Day, Veterans' Day, Thanksgiving, and more.  This book is a great way to simplify your life for the next three months and make these holidays memorable, special, and meaningful. 

Moving on, today's Five on Friday is mostly a list for myself.  The past few assignments from 100 Days have included ideas on crafts and DIY gift ideas to give and receive throughout the holiday season.  Here are five projects I hope to accomplish in the Morris household.  If you are really lucky, I'll even blog about them.  (How lucky do you feel right now?)

One: Scary Halloween House

Yesterday, out of the blue, Rob asked me if we could trick-or-treat at our house this year.  You should know we have gone to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's house for the past 4+ years.  Before waiting for my affirmation, he added, "and can we make our house really scary?"  Sure, my favorite child.  Anything for you.  So I am looking for some ideas like these:

via Pinterest

via Pinterest
via Pinterest

Two: Thankful for Family (Thanksgiving Keepsakes)

Now that Will is here, I have used (more times than not) the excuse that this is the last time we will ever all be this age.  Anything involving baby things, family pictures, etc., will always be complete.  There will never again be a time when I say "Oh, that was before ___ was born."  So my keepsakes are that much more important to preserve moments in time.  Therefore, I want to capture their "littleness"  (it could be a real word) in as creative/lasting a way as possible. 

via Pinterest
I love this! via Pinterest
Three: Fall is the Apple of My Eye

In school, Rob's class has been studying Johnny Appleseed.  And I have apparently been late to the game the past few seasons.  Either that, or apple orchid farmers have rolled out an amazing new marketing plan.  Nevertheless, I have heard so much about apple harvesting in the past few days, that I am going to try some new apple recipes with the family.  I'll start with an apple crisp, then I'll hop over to Mix and Match Mama's website where I'll dig and play around with all of her fabulous posts.  Shay has a whole section dedicated to fall recipes. 

Four: Gifting is about thoughtfulness, not price tags!

I am constantly on the lookout for amazing bargains and great deals.  But more so that sales, I'm sifting through my dusty brain for ideas on handmade gifts.  Once again, Pinterest has some great ideas.  In the past, I have pinned recipes for homemade salt scrubs, DIY coasters, ornaments, jewelry, and more.  Since many family members read my blog, I'm not sharing exactly what I'm planning this year.  But trust me, it's a great one!  I definitely will be making additional quantities to keep for myself.

Five: Christmas Cards...society's newest status symbol?

I'm not sure exactly when or why, but lately it seems like more and more Christmas cards are not sent to tell loved ones "Happy birth of Jesus," but to say "look at my beautiful family.  Aren't we special?" I get it, Christmas cards are a great time to share family portraits with others.  And if you are sharing family portraits all while wishing genuine holiday cheer to others, then please continue.  But you shouldn't have to go bankrupt in doing so.  Ever so often during the month of December, I will receive a card in the mail sans portrait, hand-signed, by a loved one who had no idea just how much I needed to hear from him/her.  That is the meaning behind sending cards.  With that said, I do enjoy sharing pictures of the kids.  Many of our cards go to family members we don't get to visit very often.  So while I will be genuinely wishing cheer to my loved ones, I am going to be thrifty by ordering from the ever-affordable Allie Logan Designs.  She can design anything you like, and include any message.  Just don't ask her to inscribe "Aren't we special?"

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Wishlist

Ahh, the Holidays are approaching.  There's so much to do and so little time.  We have to find new recipes on Pinterest, find decorating ideas on Pinterest, create new wishlists of the greatest toys, jewelry, wardrobe staples, etc, that we have pinned on Pinterest.  Did you catch the trend yet?

Well, I'm feeling sentimental with a desire to journal, so I thought I would share with all of you my wishlist.

I wish Santa or one of his elves would help an Erin Condren life planner make its way to Helena.  I don't ask for much; I just want it to be pretty, flirty, with eMe monogrammed on it somewhere.
Shout out to the Blue Eyed Bride for her gorgeous color scheme she used with hers.
I wish I had a really great pair of brown riding boots.  I also wish I had enough cash and the desire to part with said cash to add these to my wardrobe.  Sure I love Target and Walmart for many things, but I do not want "disposable" boots.  I would like to invest in a really classic pair.

I wish I had a bi-colored or even tri-colored MK watch.  I am in love with my silver one, but I do believe that gold jewelry is back to stay for a while.  It is so much classier than the huge gold nuggets and chains of the 70's and 80's.  For that reason, I wish my current MK was more versatile.
I wish I had a juicer.  Because I wish I were a juicer.  I have seen great reviews about the juicer available at Costco.  I stopped by and tried a juice from the demonstration guy a while back and it was actually good. 

But here's my ultimate conundrum: I'm just too lazy to be healthy.  So that leads me to the next item on my wishlist...

I wish I wanted to actually lose weight as much as I actually want to "look good, feel great".  It's true, I'm dissatisfied with my body image.  I don't think after 13 months you can call it baby weight anymore.  It's just weight.  But I really like my convenient foods.  So there.

I wish I had a brand new wardrobe to take on my Super-Secret-10th-Anniversary-Trip for which we leave in T: Minus 7 days from today!  Wahoo!  But I need learn to be content with what I have.  Perhaps it's really a self confidence thing.  I know so many strong, beautiful, confident women (my mom included) who look amazing in pure rags.  What am I lacking that they aren't?  Yep, self confidence.

I wish I were more of a front porch decorator.  I guess it's never too late to start.  I would do something like this:
...or this: 
...or this:

I wish I had some real reason to completely start over with my house.  I guess my brain has been Pinterest-fied (better than petrified, but only slightly).  Natural disaster, major theft, fire, etc.  Whatever works.  Look, I don't wish harm or ill-will on anyone.  Not the first responders, my neighbors, or my family.  Well, okay it would be fine if the family of armadillos who live in my next-door-neighbor's yard perished.  I just want to redo everything.  Every room.  I my walls to be light and bright.  I want a fuzzy, plush rug underfoot in the living room atop much better (and professionally installed) hardwood floors.  I want to replace my 20-yr-old single pane windows.  And I want to decrapify.  A lot...

__9__I wish I could break up with my love affair of stuff.  Sure, stuff and I have had our share of "we  were on a break"...

 ...but stuff always comes back.  Stuff and dust bunnies must know something I don't! See, I'm in constant struggle with myself.  Didn't I just swoon over stuff-filled front porches? Oh...the...madness!

I wish if I forfeited wish #7 and, instead, lived here contently for the rest of my life, I could find a proper way to get organized and stay organized.  Anyone have any methods that have really, really worked for you?

I wish I knew if the Common Core State Standards were as good for our children as I believe, or as bad as everyone else I know believes.  I have a disadvantage due to what I do for a living.  Working for my mother who sells educational resources all devoted to being "aligned to the CCSS" and being privileged enough to hear what the "experts" say about the future of education and just how children's brains are wired to truly grasp critical thinking skills makes me believe this is the best thing to happen to schools in a very long time.  But I also, as a 1st grade parent, can recognize that so many schools lack funding to convert their resources.  Many districts lack organization and leadership to communicate to parents all the benefits of these major changes the children are experiencing.  Some schools, requiring their teachers to effect a cold-turkey conversion of teaching methods, are now filled with students struggling through curriculum gaps of skills.  What if this all turns out to be brass and glass?  What if I am hypnotized by the hype?  How will it feel to be the last one standing in realization that I was wrong?  I just don't believe, yet, that I am wrong.

I wish we, America, could be at peace with ourselves, if ever just for a moment, again.  Am I the only one who feels the tension?  Political tension, religious tension, way-of-life tension.  If you must know, I claim to be a fairly liberal conservative.  I am steadfast in certain beliefs including the crazy notion that, yes, when reading between the lines of the US Constitution, you will find Christianity.  Crazier still?  America was set up to be a land of the free, but not free from moral responsibility.  Free will does not mean free from consequence.  If you want to live a life that is "against the norm" go ahead and do so.  It's America.  But don't make me the bad guy just because I believe in Jesus who spoke volumes about the way He and his Father -- God -- envisioned God's creation to work.  And I am not judging you.  Judging means I am deciding your eternity.  I don't have that power and I don't want it.  I love you.  Every single one of you.  To love means I want only good things to happen to you.  But I am still free to believe and to point out that you may be doing something in conflict with God.  It's your decision whether you are okay with that or not. 

I wish I could finish something I start.  Just once.  I have started reading "Shepherding A Child's Heart".  The first two chapters were wonderful and spoke right to my heart.  But I haven't come back to it yet.  I guess I should start over.  Which leads me to the following:

I wish I were the parent my sweet, intelligent, dynamic, beautifully blessed and healthy children deserve. 

Speaking of parenting, I wish I could visit my dad in the Philippines.  For so many reasons I really would love taking this trip.  The southern part of the little island Davou City is supposedly really beautiful, slightly touristy, and very Christian.  I want to know what it is about this island country that lured him away.  Is he happy or he is there regretting his decision?  Is he enjoying retirement?  What does he do all day?  But then I would feel sad if I didn't like what I discovered.  So I just want to hug him. 

Okay, so clearly my heart was heavy this morning, filled with far more troubling needs than boots, watches, and fabulous date books.  Thank you all for being my sounding board.  Have a great day!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five on Friday

So, about once every 2-3 days I say to myself "I really wish I blogged more frequently than I do."  Then I aimlessly and fruitlessly stroll through life for the next few days until I rediscover my desire for the written typed word.  What better way is there to get over myself and just write already than by joining the wildly popular Five on Friday blog party?


There has been some dissension and debating in the Morris household over a local scandal involving rival high school football coaches fist fighting after the game and ending up jobless.  For those of you who are not "from 'round these parts", you can catch up by reading this first, then this, and finish off with this.  Basically I am so worried about what message this sends all the players, while Bobby is heartbroken that the coach resigned.  Yep, you heard me right.  Bobby is defending the coaches while I am ready to hang them up at the gallows.  Look, you will never hear me judge a mistake too harshly.  I'm a firm devotee of the "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future" school of thought.  But I'm also a parent of three children who have or are soon to begin organized sports, public school, and society.  If my child were on his team, I would be so upset.  You simply cannot use your fists to make a point.  There were so many troopers, other coaches, and witnesses who could have intervened and aided in the "walk away with dignity" choice.  But no; the coach chose break a nose and tackle his opponent instead.  I get that the losing team of that game can painfully blame faulty stats-keeping on their loss.  However, that's a life lesson in and of itself.  Now they will remember this game not as the game where they did the best they could despite human error, but as the game where their coach decided to pummel the opposition as a last resort in frustration.  Now they lost both the game and their coach.  I do empathize with them waking up the next morning in sheer regret and remorse. Those are terrible feelings.  But they are not off the hook; I just don't see where anyone can sympathize with their teaching those boys to fight and bully others. Lastly, no one has mentioned how embarrassed the communities are about the lasting impression this leaves on other communities. 


Speaking of my betrothed, have I mentioned we are getting ready to go out of town?  EEP I'm so excited.  We have so few opportunities to travel as adults, play as adults, and recreate as adults.  You will hear a few more mentions of my upcoming trip in the next few posts.  Like now:

As of this posting, we are actually down to 26 days!  And yep, it's a Super-Secret trip.  Bobby thinks he has a clue of our destination, but he's wrong!  EEP!  (Like my excited squeal?)  There's so much to do!  I want a new outfit.  I need to see about adding some special touches to the trip itself along the way.  I need childcare (grandparents, are y'all reading this?)...


Speaking of traveling just as adults, Bobby and I did manage to sneak out of town on Saturday to go to the first Bama game of the season.  I guess I am contradicting my previous point I just made.  But trust me, it doesn't happen very often.   We drove over to Atlanta for the day and did a little tailgating before heading into to the GA Dome for the Alabama/VA Tech game.  Only in Alabama Football can you beat your opponent by 25 points and the fan base is wondering what went wrong from their Sunday-morning coaches' armchairs...ha!  We do have some work to do, though.  Very few plays held up to "the process" standards that Coach Nick instills.

PS: This picture above does neither of us any justice.  We got so hot and sweaty during the day.  Blech!


Did I mention that I haven't blogged as much as I would like?  I still need to tell you all about Rob turning seven.  Hopefully that post will come soon before the details are filed away in the back of my dusty memory. 


How did my baby girl grow up literally overnight?  She started 3K Preschool this week and absolutely loves it.  When I picked her up on Wednesday, her first day, she told me the following:
  • We got to go to the playground two times!
  • I made a friend named Ally
  • We had circle time and Ms. Amanda read us a book about Jesus...and a pig. (I'm secretly hoping those are 2 different books.  Otherwise, what the?)

Five and a half...she also starts dance class next week.  She wants to be a "bah-weena".  I bought her first leotard for class (leotard--a word she cannot say properly and I cannot type her attempts phonetically) and I almost couldn't get it back off of her.  She shook her little booty and ran around the house like a wild child!  So cute!